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When we first started researching our upcoming visit to Budapest with kids, one of the common must-do experiences that kept on coming up were the many bathhouses in the city. Of course, I decided we had to visit one too… but then that doubt crept in. Could we visit a Budapest bathhouse with kids?
Trust me I turned to Google in an attempt to get some answers, however my search left things somewhat inconclusive and we were still not sure if it would be possible. Especially not with young kids. Disappointing to think we may miss such an token opportunity while in Budapest.
BUDAPEST GELLERT BATHS WITH KIDS
On our first full day in the city we were approached by one of the many tour bus salesperson who roamed the city, near major attractions. He was from the Big Bus and presented us with a great package that was perfect for our 3 day stay, giving us public transport all around the city, tours, attraction entry plus tickets to one of the four main bath houses in Budapest. All for about $60AU So we asked him what our options were with the kids and he jumped on the phone to his boss for clarification.
He recommended we visit either the Gellert Spa and Bath or the Szechenyi Baths, which were the two most family-friendly of the four bathhouses. So we went with Gellert for our visit. Woohoo!!
On our second full day we jumped on The Big Bus for some touring around the city and made our way to the Gellert Bath stop. Now this adventure was not without hiccups…
Simon’s suitcase had been missing since our arrival in Hungary and more than 48 hours later, it still had not been found. So he was stuck in the same T-shirt and shorts, and no swimsuit! It was lucky for him at least I had all our toiletries so he could keep his one set of clothes smelling ok! HA
But it meant he expected not to be swimming on the day, even though he knew he could hire a swimsuit. In the end, we convinced him to hire a pair of little red swim trunks so he could join the fun and he’s glad he did. We had a great day!
Arriving At Gellert Baths
When you first arrive, you are immediately surrounded by incredible architecture and decor. It all feels very fancy and it did give me some hesitation about taking the kids into such a building! Eeekkkk…
In the main foyer, you can pay for entry, towel, swimsuit and swim cap hire, plus certain entry tickets give you access to private change rooms that have an access band so you can leave your stuff in there while also having somewhere to change. This was fantastic!
The Gellert Thermal Pools
Indoors there are several pools that are heated at different temperatures. Most of them are quite warm, like a hot bath so we headed outdoors instead with the kids to the wave pool!
All of the baths at Gellert are heated to a certain degree, ranging from 21 to 40 degrees celsius. Outdoors there are 3 pools with the wave pool being one of the coolest and in fact, it was freezing! But being a hot day, it was ok!
The wave pool was one of the most popular in the entire bathhouse, likely because it was a little more family-friendly for visiting Gellert Baths with kids. And our kids had a blast.
With our youngest only a toddler and our eldest 4, and not very water confident, we had to keep a pretty good hold on them when the waves were running but they had a great time jumping around in the simulated waves. The only downfall is the direct sunlight above, so be sure to put on plenty of sunscreen!!
We decided to head back inside for a look around and to try one of the indoor baths, however with them all being much hotter we aimed for the coolest of the indoor baths as 40 degrees was far too hot for the kids. Instead, we went to the 26 degrees one and they had fun in the warm water.
Being mindful that many people may be there for relaxation and to benefit from the healing properties of the thermal waters, we did our best to keep them quiet and calm… and they were thankfully quite well behaved. They did enjoy the giant warm bath!
A visit to the Gellert Baths with kids is definitely possible and no one seemed bothered that we had our kids there. In fact, there were quite a few kids of different ages visiting on the day. We are so glad we had the chance to experience this token Budapest attraction!!
Gellert Spa and Baths is located in the southern part of the city centre, on the Buda side – the right bank of the Danube, and very close to the Liberty Bridge (Szabadság híd). It can be reached by public transportation on tramways 18, 19, 47 and 49, or on buses 7, 7A and 86. Check the website for current prices and opening hours.
Address: H-1118 Budapest, Kelenhegyi út 4. Telephone: (36-1) 466-6166 Fax: (36-1) 466-5747
Gellert Bath Facilities
12 thermal baths in total at various temperatures between 21 and 40 degrees celsius
3 outdoor pools include a wave pool
Option to hire towels, swimwear, bathing caps as well as lockers or cabins
Massage and other treatments available on site
Some baths require the use of bathing caps
Thermal waters said to have healing properties
Cafe located on top level near deck area
Thermal Bath Benefits
The spring water in the thermal baths is said to have healing properties due to it being rich in magnesium, calcium, sulphate-chloride, hydrogen-carbonate, fluoride ions, and sodium.
The water composition is said to help with the following ailments:
chronic and semi-acute arthritis
blood circulation problems
degenerative illnesses of joints
illnesses of the vertebral spine
pains of the intervertebral disc
In addition, the inhalatorium helps to treat asthmatic, chronic bronchitic complaints. Pretty amazing all the potential health benefits of thermal baths really!
Check out more from our Budapest 4 day trip in our snapshot trip video:
Have you visited one of the Budapest bathhouses before? Tell us about it in the comments.